More than one year after the election of Victor Janukovich as the Ukrainian president, Ukrainian opposition members see their country on the way to a dictatorship. At invitation of the Centre for Central and Eastern Europe of the Robert Bosch Foundation in the DGAP four members of the Ukrainian parliament and opposition parties presented their views of the current political situation in the Ukraine on the 21 March 2011 in Berlin. In this context Volodymir Ariev, Oles Doniy, Yurij Stets (all “Our Ukraine”) and Andrii Pavlovskij (“Motherland”) pointed out, that the Ukrainian opposition is very much under pressure by the leadership of the country.
The four members of the opposition pointed out, that the Ukrainian government systematically takes actions against the opposition, NGOs and critical media. They demanded a stronger engagement of EU-member states in the country and a sharp critic of the EU on the policy of the Ukrainian leadership. The EU should claim freedom of press and the compliance of human rights from the Ukrainian government. The current policy of president Janukovich would lead in the opinion of the opposition members to a destabilization of the country and a polarization in Ukrainian domestic policy. The lack of reforms and the frustration of the population about the political decision makers could lead to a radicalization.
In the following discussion the audience criticized several times the lack of political alternatives in the Ukraine because of a weak opposition. Furthermore some discussants pointed out, that the former governing parties, from which the four members of the opposition are representatives, were not be able, to implement necessary reforms and to strengthen democratic institutions. The frustration about the Ukrainian political class is as well as the result of the policy of the current government as of the “Orange” coalition, so some people from the audience. In here final speech Viola von Cramon, member of the German Bundestag and member of the board of the Ukrainian-German parliamentary group of the German Bundestag, emphasized, that change in the Ukraine could only come from inside of the country. Preconditions for a successful transformation of the Ukraine are an elite change and a stronger participation of civil society.